15 Stories

Ukraine Rebels Regroup After Losing Key Stronghold

'We will drown these wretches in blood,' warns Donetsk rebel leader

(Newser) - Discouraged but defiant, pro-Russia separatists vowed to keep fighting the government in Kiev from the largest city in eastern Ukraine, where they regrouped yesterday after being driven out of a key stronghold. At a rally in a central Donetsk square, the rebels were cheered on by thousands of supporters waving...

On Day 1 of Truce, Ukraine Helicopter Shot Down

Troops given OK to shoot back after 9 killed

(Newser) - The shaky ceasefire in Ukraine was thrown into peril yesterday when pro-Moscow separatists shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter, killing nine servicemen just a day after rebels agreed to respect a truce called by the Ukrainian government last Friday. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned he may end the weeklong truce...

Militants Down Ukraine Copter, Kill General

Meanwhile, separatists confirm they're holding EU observers captive

(Newser) - Rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down a government military helicopter today amid heavy fighting around the city of Slovyansk, killing 14 soldiers including a general, Ukraine's leader said. The separatists used a portable air defense missile to down the chopper, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told the parliament. An AP...

Will Pro-Russia Ukraine Rebels Obey Russia?
East Ukraine to Putin:
We're Ignoring You

East Ukraine to Putin: We're Ignoring You

Pro-Russia separatists say they'll go ahead with planned referendum on Sunday

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin today presided over military exercises that simulated what the AP calls a "massive retaliatory nuclear strike in response to an enemy attack," further stoking tensions simmering in Ukraine. Putin said the drills had been planned since November, and the move comes a day after he said...

On Brink of War, Ukraine Stops Flights

Both sides bury their dead as Germany makes dire pronouncement

(Newser) - The government in Kiev appears to have today blocked all international flights into, and many flights out of, the Ukraine's restive east in the wake of yesterday's violence and in anticipation of violence ahead of Friday's holiday commemorating World War II. At least 20 flights out of...

4 Ukraine Troops Killed as Showdown Looms in Slovyansk

Separatist source claims at least 20 pro-Russia militants also killed

(Newser) - More bloodshed could be on the way in Ukraine, where security forces have surrounded the pro-Russia stronghold of Slovyansk and cut off the main road into the city. Ukraine's Interior Ministry says that four troops have been killed in the city, where pro-Russia militants shot down two military helicopters...

International Observers Released in Ukraine

42 people reported dead after Odessa fire

(Newser) - Pro-Russian militants have released the remaining seven military observers from four European countries taken hostage more than a week ago. Also freed were five Ukrainian military members, a Kremlin envoy told Russian state news, per the Wall Street Journal . "They have freed all the 12 people on my list,...

Fire Kills Dozens Amid Ukraine Clashes

Unrest spreads to port city of Odessa

(Newser) - Ukraine's day began violently when pro-Russian forces downed two helicopters in the city of Slovyansk, and things got worse hours later in the port city of Odessa. The exact number differs in various accounts, but somewhere between 30 and 40 people were killed when a fire broke out in...

Ukraine Rebels Down Helicopters

Government tries to retake pro-Russia stronghold

(Newser) - Ukrainian forces—declining to follow Russia's suggestion that they withdraw from their own country —are trying to retake the pro-Russia rebel stronghold of Slovyansk in fighting that has killed at least three people. The dead include at least two soldiers killed when the insurgents shot down two Ukrainian...

Mayor of Ukraine's No. 2 City Shot, Clinging to Life

Meanwhile, separatists take yet another town

(Newser) - Gennady Kernes, the mayor of the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, was shot in the back this morning, and doctors are currently performing emergency surgery and "fighting for his life," city hall tells the AP . The circumstances of the shooting are unclear, though a Ukrainian report spotted by...

Ukraine PM: 'Russia Wants World War III'

Arseniy Yatsenyuk amps up rhetoric

(Newser) - Russia's incursion into the Ukraine could easily spill past its borders, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said today, amping up his rhetoric against the Kremlin. "Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe," he warned, in a TV appearance and web statement...

Ukrainian Forces Strike, Kill Up to 5

Putin warns of 'consequences'

(Newser) - Ukrainian special forces, backed by helicopters and at least 10 armored vehicles, have launched an offensive near the separatist-held city of Slovyansk. So far the fighting has been at checkpoints outside the city, where the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said military and police had killed "up to five terrorists."...

Tortured Bodies Put Ukraine Back on Warpath

President orders new round of 'anti-terror' ops

(Newser) - Tensions in Ukraine are rising dangerously again despite last week's diplomatic agreement : The country's acting president has ordered security forces to resume "anti-terror" operations against pro-Russia militants in the country's east after the tortured bodies of two people allegedly abducted by insurgents were found in the...

Elite Ukrainian Troops Stopped by Drunk Civilians

Humiliated Kiev tries to pretend it was a cunning plot

(Newser) - So much for Ukraine's military operation in the east. Both columns of supposedly elite troops and armored vehicles sent to the region surrendered without a fight yesterday in the face of peaceful resistance from civilians, a defeat so humiliating that one Kiev politician tried to pretend it was actually...

Shots Fired as Ukraine Says It Has Retaken Airport

Tanks spotted, but so far no action reported

(Newser) - Ukraine appears to have at last followed through on its threats to use military force against separatists in the east. Heavy gunfire rang out inside Kramatorsk air base today, Sky News reports. Interim Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchinov announced that Ukrainian troops had retaken the base, driving out the pro-Russian militiamen...

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